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When speaking about waste, there are some things to consider before simply throwing it out. Though some garbage disposal services such as Western Elite, will sort garbage and make sure all is properly handled, it is still important to know what can and cannot be thrown away. If certain items are found in your weekly garbage pile, you may be ticked and fined. 

Illegal Garbage

Yes, that’s right. Garbage can be illegal. In fact, there are several items that are not permitted in landfills due to the harm they can potentially cause people and the environment. Some of these items are:

Batteries. It is no secret that batteries contain toxic constituents such as cadmium, mercury, lead, and lithium which can leach into the surrounding soil. In addition, batteries undergo a photochemical reaction as they decompose in landfills which can cause greenhouse gas emissions.

Paint. Believe it or not, paint is quite poisonous and highly flammable. If paint finds its way into our groundwater, it could cause significant damage when ingested.

Motor oil. Like paint, motor oil and transmission fluid are toxic. Any risk of them being absorbed into the ground should be avoided.

Electronics. Electronics contain heavy metals such as lead and cadmium which are harmful to the environment.

Prescription medications. Needless to say, drugs of any kind should be kept outside of our garbage in order to avoid water contamination.

Fluorescent light bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, a toxic metal, and should be properly disposed of outside of the landfill.

Lawn chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are poisonous and are not to be included with your common waste.

Tires. Though a seemingly strange item on this list, tires contain sharp steel which has been known to puncture the liners in landfills. These liners are laid to prevent the leakage of discarded material into the soil and groundwater.

Gasoline. Gasoline is for your engine, not the ground. It is highly flammable and very toxic.

Before discarding any of the above items, make sure you do so properly. There are many resources available for the appropriate disposal of such products which can be easily found online.

Don’t Forget About Recyclables

Even if items are not considered illegal landfill waste, they can still be harmful to the environment and better processed outside the landfill. The most common of these items are those that can be reused and recycled. Common recyclable materials include:

  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Glas
  • Certain metals such as aluminum

These items are usually accounted for when utilizing waste disposal services but still need to be separated from the trash. Keep an eye out for these items and think before you discard them. Doing so can have a significant impact on the environment.

A Few Other Things

Though not necessarily illegal or categorized as recyclable, there are some other items that you should certainly avoid throwing in the garbage can. Such items include needles, broken glass, fabrics and clothing, certain yard wastes, and concrete. Some of these items are dangerous to the environment, but some are simply better kept out of the landfill. 

At Western Elite, we go to great lengths to make sure our environment is as clean as possible. For that reason, our garbage collection and waste disposal services include a check for all the aforementioned items and materials. We sort through the waste and make sure everything is processed through its proper channel. However, each of us plays an important role in protecting the earth and keeping it clean. Checking our waste and making sure we leave certain things out of the dumpster is a great place to start.